German Castles & The Soul of Story

Fairytales. How we love to dream about these idealistic worlds where glass slippers fit and straw can be spun into gold. According to anthropologist Joseph Campbell's monomyth, "The Hero's Journey," virtually every story is made up of fairytale ingredients — a call to adventure, a wizard mentor, a hero prince, a daunting dragon.  


Anna Miss in Dotted Swiss 

Liepāja, Latvia -- When I have pretty friends, there's a good chance I'll talk them into playing dress up for me. When I have pretty cousins, they really don't have a choice. 

Lucky for me, Anna is both a beautiful young lady annnnnd perfectly content to be my model. In fact, my cousin, Anna, has was my very first human mannequin. When she was no more than a toddler, I remember dressing her in little green fairy skirts and medieval gowns with long flowing sleeves. 


Day Twenty-One: Latvia Lovin'


Liepāja, Latvia — I got another stamp on my passport last night! I have also been properly introduced to eating pickled herring for breakfast. 

My mother's oldest brother, Dan, and his family have been settled in the Baltic country of Latvia for nearly 20 years now,running a summer camp and sheep farm in Ergli.

Dan's oldest kids, Jonathan, 15, and Anna, 13, go to school in Bath, England, and invited me to come home with them for the week as schools and some businesses take their May bank holiday. I had time off from my internship and it was only a 2.5 hour flight from London to Riga, so I thought I might as well! 


Day Ten: The British Museum and Riddles of the World

British Museum, London -- I hear waves lapping against intricate ships that sail in glass bottles. Waves of excitement surge through my mind upon entrance to the great room of the British Museum. Books of every hue clothe oak walls with flavorful tales, intricate drawings, and a sense of raw knowledge. Metal domes made for charting the heavens nest alongside telescopes, wax seals, and scattered gold coins.


Day Four: Old School Couture and Fried Plantains

oday, 10 a.m., London — After a ten-month hiatus, I was finally able to sit down in a proper sewing studio with my beloved Juki’s long lost British cousin. I bathed in the silky glow that the ivory in-work wedding gown left on my hungry fingers and delighted in every tiny stitch. 

My new friends, Appa, Nyleeta, and Tina and I took turns sharing our Harrods research with Lucy Tammam (our boss), with wide eyes and enthusiastic hand motions. 

But the excitement did not stop there.


Facing Giants and Jigsaw Love Letters

When I was a little girl, my grandfather sent me a letter all the way from Arizona.

When I tore open the white envelope, a sea of tiny jigsaw pieces and giggles spilled over my kitchen counter. Instead of a letter on notebook paper or stationary, Grandpa had sent me a puzzle with a note on it! 


Swinging Cityscape

Vintage Dresses, Swing Dancing, and Homemade Ice Cream. What could be better??

“Would you mind zipping me up?” 

Only a fashion designer can say that some of their greatest friendships begin in a dressing room. 

Delaney, however, wasn't a model about to walk the runway, or a bride being fitted for her gown. Delaney is a Biology major at Columbia University. 


Activia Training Scholarship -- Fitting into Boxes and Telling Stories

The ribbon of my seventeen years has unraveled from its spool at a hundred miles per hour, spilling over the edges of different boxes.

There’s the Farm Girl Box of green woven fields, sweet horse kisses, and starlit nights in the tractor. There’s the Student Box strung with stubby lead pencils, science fair ribbons, and graduation honors cords. Lastly, there’s the Fashion Designer Box of newspaper clippings, VIP lanyards, and beads sewn until my fingers bled. The colors, textures, and memories from each box vary, but together they tell a story.


14 Reasons Fashion Shows and Dog Shows are Pretty Much the Same Thing

From Fashion Week to Westminster Dog Show, last week was certainly excitement-packed. The marked similarities between the shows is something that still makes me laugh. From munching Filet Mingon with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan at Nicole Miller’s after-party to finding a photo of Miranda in the dress we created overnight in the New York Times, it was surreal as well. Sometimes I pinch myself to see if it’s all a dream, but in reality, all I can do is say thanks to the Man Upstairs who keeps dragging me along on these crazy adventures.

And what a sense of humor must He have!